The Parent-Teacher-Child Connection: Signatures Count!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Signatures Count!

When you're trying to get your children to agree to a specific behavior, whether it's a ten-year-old who needs to bring up math grades or the teenager who needs to drive safely, a contract has more impact than a verbal agreement.  Sit down with your child, outline the behavior you can both live with, and then mutually sign the "contract."  Post it where it is a constant reminder.

That's not the end of the story, though.  Even though simple contracts like mortgages and car loans work for adults who pay their debts monthly, children need a little more incentive to live up to the agreement.  The last line of the contract should also outline the reward for maintaining the contract.

That's still not the end of the story!  In addition to a mutually-agreed upon behavior and a reward for that behavior, the contract should also include a time frame.  Mortgages go for thirty years; car loans for five.  Children's contracts can have weekly, monthly, or even yearly terms.

If you're word-challenged, you can go to http://www.kidscontracts.com/ but you can't personalize the contract and you must purchase the package.  You can find suggestions here: http://www.kidtips.com/parenting_topics/contracts.htm and an interesting sample contract for teachers here: http://k6educators.about.com/cs/classroommanageme3/a/behaviorpact.htm.

Whatever you choose for your contract needs the three components: Expected behavior, reward, and time frame to be successful.



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